pos·​ture | \ˈpäs-chər \

Definition of posture 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the position or bearing of the body whether characteristic or assumed for a special purpose erect posture

b : the pose of a model or artistic figure

2 : state or condition at a given time especially with respect to capability in particular circumstances maintain a competitive posture in the market

3 : a conscious mental or outward behavioral attitude


postured; posturing

Definition of posture (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to cause to assume a given posture : pose

intransitive verb

1 : to assume a posture especially : to strike a pose for effect

2 : to assume an artificial or pretended attitude : attitudinize

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Other Words from posture


posturer \ ˈpäs-​chər-​ər \ noun

Synonyms for posture

Synonyms: Noun

attitude, carriage, poise, stance, station

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Examples of posture in a Sentence


Human beings have an upright posture. a good upright posture will prevent backaches

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But what’s the political theory behind reversing the stand-pat posture of the GOP heading toward the midterms? Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Conservatives Plan to Take One Last Shot at Obamacare Repeal Before Midterms," 30 Apr. 2018 Criticism of the Russia investigation by diGenova, a former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, is a break from Trump’s current lawyers who have largely refrained from publicly attacking Mueller and taken a posture of cooperation. Shannon Pettypiece,, "For Newest Lawyer, Trump Picks Fierce Critic of Mueller's Probe," 19 Mar. 2018 White House aides assured top congressional leaders that no deal would emerge from the meeting, that it was merely meant to gauge the posture of Schumer and the Democrats. Anchorage Daily News, "Congress returns to work as lawmakers press to keep shutdown short-lived," 20 Jan. 2018 White House aides assured top congressional leaders that no deal would emerge from the meeting, that it was merely meant to gauge the posture of Schumer and the Democrats. The Washington Post,, "Congress back at work trying to end government shutdown," 20 Jan. 2018 Scott’s current posture is a dramatic shift for the vocal critic of former President Barack Obama who enthusiastically backed Trump during the presidential election. Washington Post, "In Senate race, Florida governor in balancing act with Trump," 13 July 2018 The president’s posture toward close allies has been increasingly and remarkably confrontational this year, especially in comparison to his more conciliatory approach to adversaries, including Russia and North Korea. Eli Stokols,, "Trump disrupts NATO summit with blasts at allies, especially Germany, and new defense spending demands," 11 July 2018 Trump's posture is inconsistent with Republican orthodoxy. Philip Rucker, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump's praise of Kim Jong Un marks embrace of totalitarian leaders," 16 June 2018 Defensive postures are not enough: To be fully human requires reaching out with compassion and understanding to other human beings. The Christian Science Monitor, "Readers write: The meaning of protection, value of female friendship, views of the Irish, solutions for homelessness, language associated with discrimination," 2 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

President Trump's critics often accuse him of using a constant spray of Twitter posts, provocative statements and posturing to distract attention from his administration's controversies. David Lauter,, "The Trump administration sure does sell books," 20 Apr. 2018 Philadelphia views the situation very similarly to the end of Paul George’s tenure in Indiana 12 months ago: The Spurs have a fractured relationship with their star and Leonard’s camp has publicly postured for San Antonio to trade him. Jake Fischer,, "Sources: Sixers Weighing Various Trade Packages for Kawhi Leonard," 28 June 2018 Not so many years ago Silicon Valley postured as libertarian. Franklin Foer, The Atlantic, "The Death of the Public Square," 6 July 2018 There are rumors swirling and everyone is posturing during this time. Matt Babcock,, "Trust the (Draft) Process: Inside NBA Prospect Workouts," 6 June 2018 Still, others maintain that much of the back-and-forth between Washington and Beijing appears to be posturing for now—and that the odds of a full trade war breaking out remain slim. Akane Otani, WSJ, "Gains in Technology, Financial Shares Help Lift Indexes," 28 June 2018 And equally, the Democrats who are currently posturing are playing a good card badly. Andrew Sullivan, Daily Intelligencer, "If We Want to End the Border Crisis, It’s Time to Give Trump His Wall," 22 June 2018 Working from his opponent’s guard, Jackson was able to easily posture and rain down punches from the top. John Morgan, USA TODAY, "CM Punk falls to Mike Jackson via decision at UFC 225," 9 June 2018 So message received: The American enemy will posture and thump his chest, but is afraid to actually stand up to you, even though his air force could blow yours out of the sky and his navy sink yours to the bottom of the sea. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "The many things Trump didn’t accomplish in the latest Syria strike," 16 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'posture.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of posture


circa 1586, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1645, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for posture


Middle French, from Italian postura, from Latin positura, from positus, past participle of ponere to place — more at position

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Statistics for posture

Last Updated

5 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for posture

The first known use of posture was circa 1586

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More Definitions for posture



English Language Learners Definition of posture

: the way in which your body is positioned when you are sitting or standing

: the attitude a person or group has toward a subject


pos·​ture | \ˈpäs-chər \

Kids Definition of posture

: the way in which the body is positioned when sitting or standing : the general way of holding the body an upright posture a humble posture


pos·​ture | \ˈpäs-chər \

Medical Definition of posture 

1 : the position or bearing of the body whether characteristic or assumed for a special purpose erect posture

2 : a conscious mental or outward behavioral attitude

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